Renowned gay writer, activist and cultural critic Edmund White to read at Watkins College on April 14


Writer Edmund White will read from his forthcoming memoirs at Watkins College of Art&Design at 7:00 p.m. on April 14 in the Watkins Theatre at 2298 MetroCenter Boulevard. There will be a question and answer session following the reading, and White will be available for autographs. This event is free and open to the public.

Widely known for his role as a gay activist and cultural critic, as well as a novelist, White has published several critically acclaimed and commercially successful books including the largely autobiographical novels A Boy’s Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty and The Married Man. His repertoire also includes novels such as Forgetting Elena, Nocturnes for the King of Naples and a book of short stories, Skinned Alive. He also co-wrote the very popular intimate guide book, The Joy of Gay Sex, with Dr. Charles Silverstein.

White devoted seven years of his life to the research and writing of Genet, a monumental biography of novelist and playwright Jean Genet, one France’s most sacred literary writers. For this biography, White won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Award. Another of White’s highly acclaimed biographies, Marcel Proust, explores in great detail the life of this reclusive writer and serves as one of the most insightful volumes of the life of one of the most admired and influential novelists of this century.

His most recent work is Arts and Letters, published in 2004. Arts and Letters depicts his encounters with 37 writers, artists, and cultural icons who have captured his curiosity and imagination over the last 20 years. These include Marcel Proust, Catherine Deneuve, David Geffen, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Vladimir Nabokov, Jean Genet, Jasper Johns, Allen Ginsberg, Yves Saint Laurent and Elton John among others.

White has received numerous awards and distinctions including the Critics One Choice Award by the San Francisco Review of Books for Skinned Alive in 1995-96 and the Prize of the Festival of Deauville for his entire body of work in 2000. He previously served as Executive Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities, and in 1983, received both a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Award for Literature from the National Academy of Arts and Letters.

White has taught at Brown University, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Cornell, and New York University. Currently, he is Chair of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton.